CHARLOTTE, N.C. The TV cameras will roll and the high-profile bashes will be in full swing during the Democratic National Convention, which means lots of work for local professionals in the business of making people look good.
Many Charlotte makeup artists and hair stylists say their convention days are already booked, some by TV networks and others by convention attendees who want to look their best for the week’s fetes.
Charlotte makeup artist Patty McLaughlin says a TV network – she declined to say which – has booked her for all four days of the convention.
She says she’s not sure what to expect – “I’ve watched them on TV but have never been to one” – but she knows she’ll be readying commentators and guests for their camera time.
“It’s an historic occasion, so it’ll be so exciting,” she says.
Television networks, as well as celebrities, often hire local makeup artists and hair stylists when they’re on the road. Charlotte has a strong crop of hair and makeup artists who have experience working on TV and movie productions.
“If companies can hire locally, that saves them money because they don’t have to fly (makeup artists and stylists) in and put them up in hotel rooms,” McLaughlin says. “Because of the film industry and the ad industry here, we have production people here so it’s good there are a lot of us.”
Charlotte makeup artist Samantha Smith says she’s also booked for every day of the convention, also working for a major network.
“The job itself is going to be fun, but the getting in and out is going to be a hassle,” Smith says.
Makeup artist Jackie Greene says many of her regular clients are booking time with her during the convention.
“There will be lots of cocktail parties,” Greene says. “The wheels are always turning and the makeup brushes are always spinning.”
Hair salons says they’ll be fully staffed during the convention week and are stocking their shelves with hair and skin products.
Bosses at the five-location Modern Salon say they’re staffing up all of their salons for the convention and will have shelves full of products.
At the cosmetics and bath-and-body boutique Jeffre Scott in Myers Park, owner Jeffre Scott is checking and rechecking his stock to be sure he has plenty of everything conventioneers might need.
“With a lot of these delegates and senators traveling with their wives, they might have some time on their hands. I think there’s going to be some shopping,” Scott said.
“We’re going to really prepare and stock lots of extra travel-size items and personal care items,” he said. “Women are going to get here and say, ‘I didn’t know this was going to be such a fancy event.’”
And what about the men?
Men’s salon Emerson Joseph, which has an uptown location in walking distance of the convention center, plans to add an extra two stylists to the usual crop of four.
Natalie Gladden, business operations manager, says the salon hasn’t booked tons of convention-related appointments yet, but “men tend to wait till the last minute.”